Trial date for coffin assault accused set for June

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen appeared in the Middelburg Magistrates Court on Thursday.

FILE: Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jacobs appear in the Middelburg Magistrates Court for assault and forcing another man to lie in a coffin. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The trial against two white men accused of forcing a black man into a coffin on a farm in Mpumalanga has been set down for four days in June.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen appeared in the Middelburg Magistrates Court on Thursday.

They are accused of assaulting farm worker Rethabile Mlotshwa and forcing him into a coffin in August last year.

The prosecution has added attempted murder to the charge sheet against the pair.

They were originally charged with kidnapping and assault with an intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

A video of Jackson and Oosthuizen forcing Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatening to douse him with petrol went viral last November.

During their appearance in 2016, the pair told the court they merely wanted to teach Mlotshwa a lesson and in their affidavits they claimed their actions were “negligible” and that they did not mean any harm.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)